Many people love to solve crossword puzzles, but you can take it to whole new level when you make your own crossword puzzles!
They're a good way to keep the brain active and can also be a great way to learn new words or teach children or students to recognize and understand synonyms or even anagrams.
It's possible to make your own crossword puzzles based on specific themes or topics easily. In fact, you can even download ready-made crossword template grids that you only need to fill in with the world solutions.
There is a large selection of templates to download here on Fileguru.com Crossword Templates. But as you will see below there's a lot more to it than just the template or software!
Most homemade crossword puzzles are created using a square with boxes for individual letters to be written into. You can make your puzzle as large or as small as you want.
When you're designing homemade crossword puzzles for other people to complete, you will need to create two grid templates. The first grid will contain the solution and the second one will be a blank copy of the first with only the empty spaces remaining for others to fill in the answers.
Remember that when creating puzzles by hand you will need to black-out any unused squares on both grids so your completed words don't overlap and form nonsensical jumbles.
Choose the words you'll use in your crossword puzzle solution and insert them into the grid so that one or more letters from each word intersects those of another word.
Before you worry about creating the clues, you need to create the solutions first. Working the solution words into your grid can be challenging in itself.
The idea is to enter the solution words into the grid so that some words are written horizontally and others are written vertically.
You should make sure that one or more letters from each word intersect other words at some point so your crossword connects.
As you fill in each new word on your solution grid, remember to black out the square at the end of each word and add the corresponding black square onto your blank grid too.
When you think you've filled in as many solution words as you can onto your grid, it's time to create the clues.
When you make a crossword you will need to find synonyms or clues that will help people solve the word solutions you entered into your crossword.
You might also decide to have some of your clues as 'fill in the blank' style clues, such as 'President Barrack _____'
Each solution on your grid will need to be numbered and then given a unique clue.
Beginning in the top left hand corner of your grid, number each individual word consecutively for the horizontal words. Then go back and from the top left hand corner, give each vertical word a consecutive number too.
Cryptic crosswords are often more challenging as the clues represent puzzles in themselves that must be solved before the word solution can be found.
Usually cryptic crossword clues contain some kind of definition and some wordplay.
Cryptic clues can be created in several ways. Perhaps the easiest is to use word play. If your solution word is 'Persian', then you might give the clue as Cat's Tongue, as a type of cat would be a Persian and a tongue, or language, is also Persian.
Another option you have to make your own crossword is to use anagrams, where the solution is written into the clue somewhere.
An example of an anagram could be the solution word of 'hero' and the clue being 'he rode it like Superman'. The anagram is present in the first two words (he rode) and the clue is doubled by naming a superhero.
When it's time to print your crossword, spend some time checking the format and the size of your grid. After all, you want people to be able to write their answers to your clues inside the squares.
You may also want to have a list of the clues on the same page, so you should spend some time working on the format to be sure everything fits the way you want it to print out.
If you've created your blank grid on a computer, then you might also want to consider using a gray fill color instead of black, as this uses far less ink, however this can sometimes be a little confusing if you choose a color that is too pale.
Black is the standard for the squares in your grid that aren't used for word solutions, but it's completely up to you.
We hope you make your own crossword puzzles and enjoy them and we'd love to hear your comments if you've created your own puzzles or if you have any other suggestions you want to share.
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